Goa- the word is enough to evolve a sense of excitement in any Indian. And my Goa trip came as a sudden bittersweet surprise to me. This March I was selected for a giving a presentation on our project to the board members of our company. The event was going to be for two days in Goa and I felt all my elation deflate like a punctured balloon. I thought it to be a waste to get to travel and stay in Goa for free and yet not be able to explore the awesome place. But I made up my mind to make the best of my situation and explore whatever tidbit I could.
I reached Goa on a Sunday and the travel arrangements made for us was at the beautiful Kenilworth resort and Spa in South Goa which is situated 17 km away from Dabolim Airport. Hiring a cab will cost you around 500 bucks. The resort had me at hello and I was swayed beyond compare but boy did I know that this was just the beginning of all the mesmerizing views and experiences I was about to witness and experience in this place.
Below is the view from my room at Kenilworth which firmed up my mind that ,if there was heaven anywhere in the country, I was witnessing it.
After spending my Sunday evening slogging hard for the presentation next day, Monday managed to completely wow me. Our company event was held at Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa in South Goa which manages to feature in almost all major Top Indian resorts list that is ever prepared. Park Hyatt is truly a luxurious affair, but one that would make your travel incomparable to any other. The resort , in my opinion, is a small version of Goa itself and the beauty of this resort surpasses any I have ever seen.
The event went throughout the day and evening was devoted to some Goan themed parties and socializing with some cool Goan themed performances.
The next day I was overjoyed to know that the event would finish before afternoon and I started planning my itinerary. As South goa is some 50 kms away from North Goa (where all the action happens), we decided to only explore the serene South Goa beaches and it was a decision that I haven't come to regret at all.
First up, we ventured to Colva Beach (8 km from Margao). This beach is perfect as it is quite tidy and offers you a range of water sports like para-sailing, Jet-sking, canoeing and surf boarding. I mustered up the courage for para-sailing and I was amazed at my own bravado. Para-sailing at this beach will cost you around 1000 bucks.
Tip:- You can experience para-sailing for a cheaper rate between 600-800 in any of the popular North Goa Beaches.
For para-sailing you are first taken on a small wobbling boat into the ocean , away from the shore, where they station a big boat with all the para-sailing equipment/arrangements. The sea waves are too high and violent on most occasions which will manage to make you queasy. For a little extra bucks they will also dip you into the ocean while tied to the rope for a couple of seconds. But I am embarrassed to say that being influenced by numerous Hollywood movies I visioned a sea creature ( yes I mean sharks ) gobbling my lower half during the dip and me squirting blood,attached to rope, while the beast kept munching into me. This gory visual was enough to scare me and I decided against taking a dip.
After securing the safety contrapments , I was freed into the air some 300 feet above sea level. It is an amazing feeling to witness the clear blue sky and the placid sea from that vantage point and you feel like you are out of this world. They keep you in the air for some 5 minutes and for those who always dream of soaring high in the sky, this activity is one that gives you the wings for it. While coming down it does get scary for a moment when they tug on the rope to bring it down. It almost feels like the rope is gonna give away. But thankfully without any mishap I landed safely back on the boat.
I want to say that such experiences are very crucial in life. They make you fearless upto an extent and also make you aware of the fragility of human lives amidst the vast expanse of nature and its forces.
Next stop was Benaulim beach which lies 6 km away from Colva Beach. Visit this place if you are tired of those popular but overcrowded Indian beaches that don't let you experience the true charm of a beach. This beach is serene with clear water and the sunset here is to die for. For food you can check out the rustic Johncy restaurant on the beachfront. You can also buy some beach favouring clothes from the nearby flea market like wrap-around skirts, sarong or hats. After the tryst with South Goa beaches we decided to head back to the hotel.
South Goa is a different experience altogether that deserves to be visited as a standalone trip and not clubbed with the North Goa exploring. If you are a tourist then North Goa is the place for you but if you are a traveler in search of less trodden paths , undoubtedly you should visit South Goa. South Goa is for the purist at heart. It is not meant for drunk meanderings and wanderings. Atleast for a teetotaller like me , South Goa turned out to be a calm abode that just offers you a perfect setting to sit and be immersed in your flow of thought without much commotion. But that being said , I do wish to experience the other side of Goa too one day. After all its true what they say, - What happens in Goa, stays in Goa.